Retired Soldier Appointed New Director of Visitor Safety and Experience

Latest Jamaica News: Major Dave Walker has been appointed director of Visitor Safety and Experience, by the Ministry Of Tourism, to further review the initial report from the recent island-wide security audit of Jamaica’s tourism sector.

According to the Ministry, following the review, the retired JDF officer is expected to submit a final report with recommendations on the way forward by the start of the winter tourist season in December.  The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in Kingston today.

“Major Walker comes to the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) with a wealth of security experience and has been directed by me to critically review findings from the initial report, with a view to analysing the data and providing recommendations on constructing a new architecture for security in the sector,” the Tourism Minister said.

Major Walker, has spent in excess of twenty three years in the JDF where he served in various operational and strategic capacities.  He was a Military Advisor in Sierra Leone and a Military Advisor dealing with matters relating to regional security with the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

He holds two Masters Degrees, one in National Security and Strategic Studies and the other in Business Administration both from the University of the West Indies.

Minister Bartlett said that one important outcome from the further review will be the creation of a Manual on Tourism Ethics, a first of its kind, which will guide not just the expectations of security infrastructure in the sector but how we interface with each other.

Last year, Minister Bartlett ordered an intensive security audit of hotel properties across the island. The aim of the audit was to identify gaps and ensure a strategy of a safe, secure and seamless destination for visitors and locals alike. The TPDCo, which is in charge of maintaining quality assurance within the destination, coordinated the intensive security audit with support from internationally recognized security expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow.

Feature image: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (1st R) inspects the preliminary tourism security audit report with Dr. Andrew Spencer (1st L), Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr. Peter Tarlow (C), International Security Expert and newly appointed Director of Visitor Safety and Experience at TPDCo Major Dave Walker (R). Looking on is Delano Seiveright, Senior Communications Strategist. The occasion was the press briefing for an update on the tourism security audit report.

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